Yesterday I was in Wal-Mart, and there was this giant section marked EASTER, and in it were aisles and aisles of candy, chocolate, bunnies, baskets and egg decorating supplies. They had bags of candy for baskets, candy for dishes, candy for kids, candy for adults, lollipops, M&M’s, peeps, bunnies and jelly beans in every flavor you could possible imagine including popcorn and cotton candy. It was truly amazing, and as someone who really enjoys chocolate, almost more than even I could fathom. There was chocolate in every variety, shape and size, even a giant solid chocolate bunny, at least two feet tall!
But as I walked up and down the aisles, I saw no sign of Jesus.
Somehow, the story of our Savior’s death on a cross and subsequent most amazing, most wonderful, rising from the grave three days later, has turned into a story of a big white bunny that brings baskets of colored eggs and candy to kids. But sometimes he doesn’t fill the baskets but rather hides eggs filled with candy all around yards and the kids have to go in search of the eggs. And it becomes this amazing adventure to see who can get the biggest basket of eggs and little kids actually beat each other up trying to get the most eggs in their basket.
As much as I enjoy bunnies, they are soft and cuddly, they don’t lay eggs. They have nothing to do with eggs. Chickens lay eggs. If you want to be technically correct on this whole egg deal, there should be an Easter Chicken. At least that would be a little more realistic. A chicken should be delivering these eggs. And no one loves chocolate more than I do but where does it really fit into this whole bunny – egg scenario?
Yesterday at church we gave away tons of chocolate and eggs, I don’t have a problem with candy or eggs, but we didn’t go to church today to eat candy or hunt eggs. We went to church to celebrate our Risen Savior, Jesus.
This is the real story behind Easter: God wanted us to know how much he loved us. So he sent his son, Jesus, to the earth, to live as a man, to teach us about God, to help us understand God’s great love for us. But some of the people didn’t like Jesus; they didn’t believe he was the Son of God. And they beat him to a pulp and nailed him to a cross. And Jesus died, but on the third day, he rose from the grave.
We celebrate the fact that Jesus overcame death, and in doing so, gave everyone the same opportunity. If we believe in him, if we surrender our lives to him, we will live forever with him. For me, that is cause for celebration!
So, I don’t want you to think I have anything against chocolate or bunnies or eggs, because I don’t. But as you pop another little chocolate egg into your mouth, remember who really is the reason for this amazing celebration!